Audrey always taught her sons, “To be a gentleman means, as the word says, that you must first be a gentle man.” That means, as a world mostly made up of men, men as a whole should be gentle men. Sad to say, I do not think that men as a whole are "gentle." For the most part, they seem to be rough and tough. Now before you call me a masculinity hater, let me explain. My opinion is quite the contrary.
I truly think there is an appeal to a rough and tough guy when it comes to defending something of value. Even if that is defending a sports team or the school you went to. I would not want a man I was close to to back down out of gentleness when in a competition. I would not want him to step aside and let someone hurt his family or even effect his country. I do, however, agree with Audrey on every other aspect in life that we need to have gentle men in our society. Here are some tips on how to become a gentleman.
Think of Others First- I know a lot of you have been taught that you don't do anything unless you get something in return. I personally know a LOT of business men who think of themselves first. They work out of selfishness and not out of love. They do not think of others when they are working. Do things out of the goodness of your heart. Don't always be looking for what you can get out of it.
Be aware of Your Surroundings- The number one thing that impresses me most when I am in public is when a man notices I need something and takes the action to help. At an airport when I have three kids by myself and luggage and a stroller, nothing puts a smile on my face faster than a man stopping and offering a hand. I have also had the opposite happen where they have just stood there and observed. Some of you might be thinking, "Well, I tried to help a woman one time and she yelled at me." I think too often we all assume something and don't give that person the benefit of the doubt. Offer to help no matter what. If she turns you down, apologize, know you are not in the wrong and just move on.
Chivalry- It seems like this is an old custom, but it is still very important. Open car doors for all women, even your wife and daughters. If walking on a sidewalk, the man should walk closest to the street. Give up your seat on the bus or subway for a woman and the elderly. Don't know how to approach it? Here are three useful phrases that should be used in your every day life. "May I help you?" "Let me get that for you." "I'll take care of that.".
Be a Man- Women like to feel like their man is the protector. They like it when a man acts like a man and wears the pants in the family. Now there is a huge difference from being overbearing and thinking you wear the pants than doing it in a gentle manner. Defend your woman. If anyone treats her poorly, have the guts to stand up for her. Remember, that our dream as little girls was to marry a prince on a white horse. The ultimate gentleman, protector and defender of her universe. Women want you to be their hero... (and side note, women you need to let him be just that.)
Speak and Act as a Gentleman-- Don't swear, ever. Don't lose you temper. Don't objectify women. Don't rewind the Victoria Secret commercials so you can get a better look (you know who you are). Don't be vulgar. Don't say anything degrading about women. Don't burp, spit, do the opposite of burp, or speak too loudly in public. Don't stare or ogle at women. Keep the talking about yourself within reason. Respect your elders.
Be Romantic- I know lots of men who are not the romantic type, but flowers or a thoughtful note at random ALWAYS makes a good impression. Tell your wife, mother and kids that you love them...often.
I think Audrey said it perfectly though. “To be a gentleman means, as the word says, that you must first be a gentle man.” Show this to the men in your life and teach it to your sons. Lets all work on making our men gentle.
Another tip; allow the woman to go first as Rex Harrison did in "My Fair Lady."